“Tell me a joke.”
Claire the way. I’m coming through.”
Alexa told a joke. It had to be a completely random joke generated from a list of thousands programmed into the cloud and accessed by the Amazon Tap after the push of a button from a 5-year-old named Claire. A girl that could not believe her ears when a connected speaker said her name in a joke and immediately fell in love with a product that her dad ordered on a whim from Amazon on the 2nd annual Prime Day.
I was weary about Prime Day 2016 after the introductory event seemed like nothing more than an excuse to clear out the warehouses and unload those pesky 55-gallon drums of personal lubricant that have been lying around since the fall of the Berlin Wall but Prime Day 2016 felt different. There were actual products that seemed interesting and relevant. No longer a chance to send off discarded and dismissed rubbish, Prime Day was a chance to sell mass quantities of decent products.
If you have read any of my earlier music posts, you know that I require a solid 8 hours per day of music, and I think my kids deserve the same. The question is: How can a 5 and 7-year-old get access to music that they like in a simple and streamlined way? Enter Amazon Tap. The little brother of Amazon’s flagship Echo lacks the “always on” Alexa feature but compromises with a battery that boasts 8 hours of juice. Plus, the charging dock is a piece of genius simplicity as it requires no plugs to be removed or inserted. Just pick it up, go. Put it down and leave.
The Tap is a music player at its heart. Unfortunately, the two services I like the most – Slacker Radio and Apple Music- are not supported at this point from Alexa, but the future may change things. Of course, I can use Alexa as a standard bluetooth speaker, but for the cost, there are many other options that can produce better sound for half the price. What the Tap can do is connect to Amazon’s Prime Music service. See a previous review here. Though Prime Music has some depth, it is seriously lacking compared to other offerings.
Despite all of my nitpicking, guess who really likes the Amazon Tap? The kids! They can listen to all of the Meghan Trainor, Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, and Daya they like. When their limited playlist runs out, they can move to a Kids Bop Playlist and have all kinds of crazy crap to feel their ears. I suppose bad music is still better than no music. Besides, if they were listening to Tom Waits at this point, it would be cause for concern.
Not only can they listen to deep, meaningful tunes, they also can ask questions like, “What’s the score of the Pirates game?” and “How hot is it going to be tomorrow?” The impressive thing is that Alexa hears everything. No matter who is pushing her button, she responds, and generally, her responses are more accurate than Siri. A comparison is tough though as Siri has increased capabilities, and we ask more of her.
For a whim, the Amazon Tap is proving to be a great purchase, and with the initiative placed on open development, I can’t wait to see the ways developers utilize this incredible device.
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives the Amazon Tap 8.6 knocks-knocks jokes out of 10.